There are two aspects to winning medals in a horse show, I’ve learned – equitation and pleasure. "Pleasure" refers to the horse itself – its posture, its control, and its looks, while "equitation" refers to the skill and the posture of the rider.
For example, RaraEquus.com advises equestrian contestants to "keep your head up, shoulders back, and try not to give your horse verbal cues if you can avoid it."
There are a couple of "cues" for business bloggers in all this, I think. Although it’s not a judge you’re trying to impress and engage, but online visitors, there are definitely two aspects to what visitors find after clicking on your blog post:
- The "equitation" part has to do with your blog content – is the post well-written, engaging, relevant, and to the point? Does the blog content clearly demonstrate your expertise in your field and the special advantages you offer clients compared with your competition? One of the ways your readers will "judge" you is by your skill (your "equitation") in providing valuable, readable content.
- The "pleasure" part has to do with the blog site itself. Is it a "pleasure" to look at your site? Is it colorful, appropriate in style to your brand? Is it organized rather than "cluttered"? Is the site easy to navigate, with links that are easy to follow? Are there too many "special effects", too many photos, too much Flash technology, or is everything in modest proportion and in good taste? Is the overall impression that of a well-run company with a clear mission?
A second RaraEquus.com tip to horse show contestants can be apropos for bloggers: "A judge would rather see a balanced horse with an even gait do a large circle (which is easier) than a horse get unbalanced and break gait doing a smaller one."
A tip for business bloggers might be in the same vein: Keep your blog messages simple and focused, concentrating on what you know and do well, offering information you think is most important for readers to know. Don’t overpromise, don’t be elaborate. You love this online "contest", and that shows. It’s obvious you have confidence that blogging is what allows you to attract new customers who are hungry for exactly the services and products you have to offer.
Keep your "balance" by maintaining a consistent pattern of posting blogs about your business!